lesson we are going to practice one of the most powerful relationship
skills in existence. It can change the
course of your entire relationship in just five minutes. It can
add much more intimacy day to day. It can get you almost everything
you want from your mate easily and pleasantly. Thatís why we call
this the #1 Most Amazing Relationship Skill.
What is this skill? It is Making Intimate Requests.
Making requests is a skill that makes a big difference in relationships.
All of your relationships. You may think you already know how to
make requests Ė and you do Ė however few of us ever were taught
the power of how to make requests that can change the future of
entire relationships in just a few minutes. Add this to what you
know about making requests and with a little practice you will master
one of the most powerful and enjoyable relationship skills available!
Making intimate requests is a skill that can change
- Love life
- Your work life.
- Your relationships with your kids.
This is about getting your needs met through others.
Itís a very powerful skill for getting your needs met - getting
what YOU WANT from other people.
Now, you may think you're already pretty good at
making requests, and you probably are - but most likely not in the
way that you are about to learn.
We're going to teach you a level of skill that will
not only change your love life but can make you lots of money as
You can get paid $100,000 + a year for mastering
the skill of making requests.
and there are lots of jobs like that for people
who get good at it. At the end of the course I'll tell you what
those jobs are.
All you need to do now is relax, follow along, and
participate in the exercises so letís dive in.
1. WE ALL HAVE NEEDS!
The first thing to get very clear about is that
we all have needs! We have needs for quiet time around the house.
We have needs for love and intimacy. We have needs for respect and
to be treated decently by bosses and coworkers. We have needs for
more money. We have needs to play and have fun!
All of us have needs!
And when we aren't getting our needs met we get:
(choose your favorites)
Look, if you've worked all day and come home you
may "need" ten minutes of peace and quiet before starting
dinner or whatever. Just ten minutes to relax and kick off your
shoes and breathe. But if your kids are running and screaming through
the house you aren't getting that need met. So instead of ten minutes
of peace and quiet you find yourself pissed off and yelling at your
When you have needs and they aren't getting met
you don't feel or operate very well.
And there's a part of us that feels funny about
having needs, or needing to tell someone what we need, like somehow
we shouldn't have to or that we shouldn't need anything from anyone
or good girls don't ask or whatever. We all have some funny wiring
RECOGNIZING OUR NEEDS AND ASKING OTHERS TO MEET
What are some of the things you need in your intimate
relationship? Take a moment and think about it and list your needs
Does your list include some of these?
PLAY Ė you need to play with your mate. Have fun.
You got or get into relationships in part to have someone to play
with. Sex, movies, dancing, exercising together, dining together,
etc are some of the ways we adults like to play with each other.
If you arenít playing OFTEN in your relationship,
then you arenít having much fun together.
Please rate (just for fun!) your relationship with
a number from 1(low) Ė10(high) on how much play you now have with
your mate: ______________ There is no right answer, at this point
just be honest and put the number that seems best to you.
INTIMACY - Feeling connected, feeling heard, feeling
loved and supported and KNOWN by another are vital to each of us.
Another major drive for each human being is to experience intimacy.
We get into relationships to feel appreciated, understood, cared
for by another human being. If you or your mate donít feel connected
(it happens to all of us at times) you begin to feel more isolated
and less intimate.
Please rate (donít get too serious, this is still
just for fun!) your relationship with a number from 1(low) Ė10(high)
on how much intimacy you now generally feel with your mate: ______________
There is no right answer, at this point just be honest and put the
number that seems best to you.
COOPERATION Ė One of the things we all need from
our relationships is cooperation. Compromise. A feeling that we
can work together in win/win ways. Besides play and intimacy at
times relationships are two people with very different sets of needs
pulling in very different directions. That is fine, perfect, normal,
entirely okay. You want Italian, he wants Mexican. You want a new
motorcycle, she wants to go to Hawaii with that money. You want
alone time, he wants to cuddle.
When different needs and desires arise and sometimes
conflict Ė all of which will occur in a healthy relationship from
time to time - you want to feel that you can work that out. That
your needs will be respected and that youíll work towards some kind
of win/win resolution to such conflict, as opposed to screaming
matches or sulky withdrawals into silence or manipulative emotional/sexual
Please rate your relationship with a number from
1(low) Ė10(high) on how much cooperation you feel with your mate:
______________ There is no right answer, at this point just be honest
and put the number that seems best to you.
Other answers that might be on your list are sexuality, raising
a family/parenting styles, financial support, socializing, etc.
Whatever is important to you in the area of relationship is okay.
Your needs are okay. Your wants are okay. We all have them, and
they make relationships such fun and fascinating roller coaster
Relationships are much more difficult/unpleasant
when you arenít getting your needs met. And relationships can be
very confusing and unsteady when you donít even know what your needs
So again, take a moment and write down three needs
that are most important to you in your relationship:
Now that you know you have a need, the question
becomes what's the best way to get it met?
- POUTING AND SULKING
- BITCHING AND NAGGING
- THEY SHOULD JUST KNOW WHAT WE WANT
Recognize any of these behaviors? Oftentimes we
want our mates to just "know" what we need, and when we
feel bad we scream or pout or fight or withdraw from our loved ones.
Next time you find yourself feeling frustrated with your mate,
try something much more powerful than nagging or fighting. Try this:
THE BEST WAY TO GET WHAT YOU WANT IS TO ASK FOR
But we oftentimes don't act like that's the best
way. We tend to automatically assume others should just know what
we want or know what we need or we come across like we shouldn't
have to ask or we think something is wrong with us if other people
are treating us badly.
So the first thing to understand is that
THE BEST WAY TO GET WHAT YOU WANT IS TO ASK FOR IT!!
The next thing to repeat is that when you aren't
getting your needs or wants met, you will tend to feel bad, bothered,
annoyed. It's only human.
So, one of the first powerful steps to getting what
you want in life is to
GLADLY NOTICE WHEN SOMETHING BOTHERS YOU!
"Oh, you know, I don't like the way my boss
treats me at work!"
"Oh, I don't like having to fight with my kids
every nite to get them to go to bed."
"Oh, it bothers me when my boyfriend has been
drinking a lot then wants to come see me!"
When something bothers you that's a sign that there's
a request that needs to be made!
The other person is clearly not reading your mind!
Relationships are one of the keys to life. Unless you plan on retiring
to a cave and being a hermit, much of the quality of your
life is determined by the quality of your relationships.
Here is a useful way of looking at relationships.
RELATIONSHIPS, PERSONAL AND AT WORK, ARE ABOUT PEOPLE MAKING
CHOICES TO BE TOGETHER AND PLAY TOGETHER, PERIOD.
Making requests is an invitation, It lets people know what works
for you, and it sets up a way to play together:
Would you play with me, mommy?
Will you go have dinner with me on Friday night?
Do you want to go see that movie tonight?
Boss, can you give me some more hours?
Would you eat your vegetables, please?
Requests are an invitation to do something with
or through another person.
So if someone asks if you want to have dinner on
Friday night, they are saying
Over here, in my universe, I want to spend some
time with you, so could we play by perhaps having dinner together
Now you, over in your universe, get to decide if
you want to play that way. If you aren't interested, you say, "No
thanks, I don't want to go to dinner."
If you do want to play together with that person
for a few hours, you say, "Yeah, sure, let's do it!"
Then you know if and when you're going to play together with another
person in a certain way.
CHINESE vs MEXICAN!
Now, if he picks you up and takes you to a Chinese
restaurant, and you hate Chinese food, if you don't let him know
by making a request to go get Mexican you may sit through the meal
and not have a very good time.
He's wondering what's wrong, you're trying to be nice, and if you'd
just asked and let him know how you want to play together with what
kind of food, you could have played and had more fun by making that
When people make requests of you they are simply asking if
you want to play a certain way.
If the boss says "Hey, I need you to come in on your day off,"
It may not sound like a request, but it is. In her universe, she
needs you at work to play your role on your day off.
In your universe, its your day off, and you don't have to go in.
Her request may seem like a command, but even with bosses, requests
are invitations to play. You never have to do what a boss tells
you to (at the least you have a free choice to quit).
WHEN RELATIONSHIPS LOSE THEIR PLAY AND FUN, THEY
HEAD TOWARDS ARGUING, SEPARATION AND DIVORCE.
So again, if you aren't happy in a relationship, you
probably aren't playing together very well.
Your mate views things in her own way. You can't read her
mind or get inside her head. The only way you can really know what's
going on with her is if she tells you (nonverbal communication IS
a form of communication sometimes).
Just so, you live in your own universe, subjectively.
As close as the two of you are, lovers, partners, husband and wife,
you canít really read each otherís mind or know what's going on
with your mate unless they tell you.
Each one of us lives in our own heads. We see the world in our
own way. A relationship is a way for two people who see the world
differently to play together objectively, out here in the real world.
If you aren't getting what you want in your relationships, maybe
you simply need to get better at making requests. And when you do,
youíll often find that
PEOPLE WANT TO SAY YES! THEY WANT TO PLAY! THEY WANT TO BE SEEN
AS GOOD PEOPLE AND TO BE LIKED!
You can change your life and your family's life in a few minutes
by making requests.
Randy and Sue have been married
for six years. They have two kids and Randy has recently been promoted.
But lately, Sue notices Randy has been going off to the bar three
and four nights a week. He gets home from work, has dinner, then
says he's going to meet friends for a game of pool. He usually then
comes home at 11 or twelve, rarely drunk but usually having had
a few drinks.
Sue, having been incredibly wise enough to learn the skill of making
intimate requests, understands that Randy has made a "unilateral
decision." Without ever asking her, he decided it was okay
to go off to the bar pretty much as often as he pleased and to leave
her with all the child-rearing responsibilities. Tonight, before
he leaves again, Sue decides to make a request to change this course
of affairs and add to the intimacy in their relationship.
"Honey, can we talk for a few minutes?" she asks.
"Well dear," he responds,
"I was supposed to meet Joe 10 minutes ago at the bar. Can
"Really, you masculine mountain
of manhood, I'd rather talk to you now, while you are still completely
"Are you implying that I'm
a drunken bum when I get home at night?"
"Not normally, but that is what I wanted to talk to you about.
I've noticed in the last few months that you've been spending most
of your week nights at the Beer Belly Bar. You aren't spending hardly
any time with me and the kids. I'd like to ask that you spend only
one night a week at the bar, and that the rest of the time you find
ways to spend time with me and the kids. I don't want to raise them
alone!" There, she had said it, and she felt better already.
"Are you saying that I'm not a good husband and father?"
Randy asked tightly.
"Not at all, we love spending
time with you on the weekends, but just the weekends isn't enough.
Could you please consider cutting way back on your bar time and
add to your family time?"
"Well," Randy replies
defensively, "since my promotion I've been sitting on my butt
all day, and after dinner all we seem to do around here is sit and
watch tv. I need to spend more time being active, and at the Beer
Belly I'm on my feet the whole night around the pool table. I don't
want to sit around here all night!"
"Oh, I see, " Sue responds
using her new found mirroring or active listening skills. "You
like going to the bar because it gets you off your butt?"
"Yes," he says, beginning to relax as he feels that he
is being understood. "That's pretty much why I go. Sitting
around watching tv just isn't doing it for me."
"I understand," Sue replies without taking offense, even
though it seemed to her that he was the one that always plopped
in front of the tv after dinner. "How about if we came up with
some family activities that wouldn't involve tv? You see, honey,
I don't want to raise the kids all by myself, except with a little
help from you on weekends. Perhaps after dinner we could take the
kids on walks down by the creek, and Jimmy is getting to the point
where you could teach him to play some ball. And you know how Jill
loves to kick the soccer ball around with you. But what I'd like
is if you wouldn't spend more than your usual Friday night at the
bar, and plan the rest of your time with us. Is that okay?"
"Well, I guess the little spudsters could use some playing
time with a master athlete such as myself, and I suppose also it
isn't fair that you have to put up with most of the arguing and
refusing to go to bed, so I guess I can spend some more time around
here." Randy decides hesitantly.
"I really appreciate that, dear, but could your less time
at the bar go back to only your usual Friday nights, so we can
plan to see you and spend time with your magnificent self the rest
of the week?"
"Trying to pin me down, are you?" Randy looks at her
closely, surprised by her newfound forthrightness.
"Well, yes, dear, I am," she says, "because I don't
want a barfly for a husband, I want the hot stud I married, and
when you come home after a night in someone's Beer Belly you stink
like cigarette smoke and you are usually too tired to be Mr. Manhood
in the sack," she winks at him. "So I want to know if
you are planning on more time there or here." Once again, she
is repeating her request, because she realizes she hasn't gotten
a direct answer yet.
"Okay, sure, insult my incredible lovemaking abilities, hit
me below the belt." He thought for a moment. "How about
this. Friday night as usual, plus an hour or so after work two other
weekdays, for a few quick games of pool with Joe. Then the rest
of the time you guys can hog all of my attention and receive the
many benefits of spending time in my presence. How's that?"
Sue realizes that this is a great offer, it will work much better
than the present arrangement, and it should add much to the quality
of family time. "Okay, sweetie, sounds good to me. We'll try
not to get too overwhelmed by all your wonderfulness, but it will
be good to have you around here more!"
And in that short five minute conversation Sue has changed the
course of intimacy in their relationship!
Randy had made some unilateral, one-sided choices that took
away or were leading away from intimacy, and Sue took an unobtrusive
but firm lead in moving things towards closeness and more quality
time. Instead of bitching at him and trying to make him feel guilty,
or instead of yelling and screaming or pouting, she did a very powerful
thing. She asked. She made a request. She let him know by
doing so that she had a different idea for some of the choices that
he was making that affected their relationship.
In a hundred million relationships the world over men and women
are making choices that can lead away from intimacy. Remember
that you are a full partner with full responsibility in your relationship
for its quality and depth. While men will often tend to lead, make
the big decisions, and "take charge," this is fine only
to the extent that it doesn't damage or decrease the level of bonding
in your relationship. At any time you see that his choices or behaviors
are doing that, it is time for you to make requests of him to change
that behavior and/or reconsider those choices.
Pouting, attacking, blaming and whining are also methods women
have used for centuries to try to alter men's behavior, but none
of these techniques are as powerful and effective as simply getting
clear on what you want then ASKING him for it.
Don't let your mate make one-sided choices that
decrease or negatively affect the intimacy in your relationship!
You will be amazed.
Men actually do understand English (or whatever language the both
of you speak). Men do have a clear interest in cooperating with
you to create and increase intimacy. When you can speak to them
clearly and specifically communicate how what you want will add
to or improve your relationship, many times they will just say
You have incredible power to alter
the course of your relationship, for good or ill! Whining and bitching
a lot can change the quality of your relationship, though probably
for the worse. Making requests, communicating and compromising can
allow the both of you to make MUTUAL CHOICES that add to your closeness.
All a relationship is is a set of mutual choices. You choose
to stay together, to eat together, to play together, or you don't.
The more conscious mutual choices you make, generally
the more you will experience closeness and togetherness. Repeat
after me: "The more conscious mutual choices
we make, the more we will experience closeness and togetherness."
Obviously, you don't have to make all of your choices the same,
but you have to make enough mutual choices to enable each of you
to feel nurtured and good about your time together and apart.
Make requests, allow your mate to respond however
she/he does, and negotiate.
Making requests isn't about getting your way!
It is a tool for co-creation.
Co-creation is a key concept here!
You want to fully participate in co-creating intimacy with your
mate lest it disappear! Men generally have only crude intimacy skills
and if you leave love and nurturing and bonding up to them, it is
quite likely to dissolve! You know the drill - at first, lots of
passion and love and sex, then lots of passion and sex, then eventually
just some mechanical sex, with the both of you feeling something
Hereís an example that just about everyone should recognize. If
it hasnít directly happened to you, it has happened to several women
Nancy meets Joe. Sparks fly! Joey
is sweet and gentle and Nancy particularly likes that Joey talks
to her, sharing his feelings. He seems to really care about her
opinions and what she has to say. When they make love Joey is strong
and passionate and not in a hurry. Nancy is beginning to get really
Finally, a man with some feelings,
a man who respects her, a man she could fall in love with. Things
go fine for the first month. They have cozy dinners, talk a lot
and see each other four or five times a week. Nancy finds sex with
him to be more abandoned and uninhibited and exciting than she can
ever recall. Nancy is in love and feels loved in return! She is
giving herself completely to this man and can finally foresee a
long and loving relationship developing.
Then, trouble! One evening, about
five weeks into their relationship, Joey comes over and tells her,
apologetically, that they need him to work double shifts at the
computer company. They are behind on some big orders and as he is
mid-level management they are counting on him to help get the company
through. And well, since he needs the money, heís going to do it,
and now he can only see her about once every week or maybe even
two! It should only be for about four months and then the big backlog
will be reduced...
Nancy is stunned! (Arenít you??
This is a true story, "Joey" actually said this, and you
probably have heard your own similar story or at the least have
known this to happen to more than one girlfriend.) Things had been
going so good! Joey had been telling her that he had never met anyone
like her and that sex had never been so rich and fulfilling for
him. Now what was happening, all of a sudden and out of the blue??
What could she do? What could she
say?? She wants to yell and scream at him, but knows that probably
wonít work. Not wanting to pressure him, yet very disappointed that
apparently her feelings werenít truly reciprocated, she meekly acquiesces.
"Well, Joey, if you have to do this to make enough money to
get caught up, I guess I can understand. Iíll miss you but..."
"Great, honey, thanks for understanding,"
Joey replies. "I have to go back for my double shift starting
tonite, but Iíll call you soon!"
As he walks out the door Nancy has
this funny feeling that he is out of her life forever.
Crushed, she wonders what happened.
Was it an excuse? Was there another woman? Was he afraid of intimacy?
Would she ever find another man like him? Why were men so incredibly
stupid anyway?? Sheís given him her heart and her body and her soul
- what the hell more could a man want??
But, like too many women, Nancy will never really know, and she
may never really be able to trust men easily again... And Joey,
for his part, has just re-enacted a male pattern that has been taking
advantage of women for centuries! He gave her lots of communication
and attention, got lots of sex in return, and after a time was ready
to pull back to avoid commitment. Now, the way he left it, he could
see her once a week and have sex if he wanted, or he could disappear
and find another woman, and maybe keep Nancy on the side....Has
Joey just pulled off the somewhat infamous love em and leave
And why does this need to happen?
There Nancy was, going along co-creating an exciting, intimate relationship
with Joey, things are going great. Then, when Joey acts completely
out of character, the first thing Nancy does is go at the effect
of HIS decision. She becomes the victim. "Well, he really
does need to get caught up on his bills from the divorce, and his
company really does need double shifts right now, it was in the
What Nancy could have done at that
point was to avoid being an intimacy victim and remember
that it is often a womanís job to co-create the bonding in the relationship.
This always means that there are TWO people making decisions,
never just one. Joey unilaterally and with seeming little regard
for Nancyís feelings made a decision that affected them both.
Nancy (and all women) can do well to remember that men no longer
get to make one-sided decisions about anything that affects BOTH
of them. Women must assert themselves and push to take part in all
choices and decisions that affect them both. In this case, all Nancy
needed to do was to express her feelings and choices.
After all, he had just expressed his!
She could understand that he needed
to work more. But seeing Joey once every week or two was a bit ridiculous!
She wanted him to make time to see her at least twice a week for
the duration of this work backlog. She could feel comfortable with
that. And if he didnít want to make the time to do that, if he didnít
care enough about her and what was growing between them to do that,
then would he please just tell her up front and they could end it
That would force him to re-evaluate
his unilateral decision and to reconsider. He could now participate
with her in making a mutual decision. If he really was just running
from commitment, he would at least have to fess up to it!
And in actuality, that is what happened. She called him at work
and made her requests. He was able to agree to see her twice a week.
He never fessed up to being frightened of commitment, but the 4
month job turned out to last only one month, and after only two
weeks he stopped working six double shifts and dropped back to three
double shifts per week. They were able to continue their relationship,
because Nancy refused to let him make a unilateral decision that
affected both of them.
The moral of that bedtime story is: Donít let one mate make unilateral
decisions that dissolve intimacy! They will if they can get away
with it, despite themselves! But when you respond with intimate
requests or counter-requests of your own, you move to co-create
intimacy rather than become a victim of it!
The male intimacy model is usually very simple.
Since they confuse sex with intimacy,
their general idea to create intimacy is to go to bed with a woman.
Forget sharing their hearts, forget empathizing, forget being other-focused
on a regular basis, forget nurturing. Some or all of these may have
been necessary to get you into the sack, but once they are going
to bed with you regularly, they can quickly forget all of those
things. Thatís it, theyíre sleeping with you, what else could you
possibly want in the way of intimacy?? It really is a very simple
This model of course leaves a lot
to be desired, and of course it leaves the men shortchanged as well.
Most of the time they arenít connected, they arenít empathizing,
they are walled off from your heart and theirs, so after a while
they start feeling empty again. Feeling empty was why they felt
driven to get you into bed with them. At first, the sex was helping
them feel bonded. But sex can never replace intimacy (as weíll discuss
at length when we get to Sexual Sublimation). After a while, they
wonít feel much intimacy with you either, so theyíll think about
moving on to find that "intimacy" between another womanís
legs. Nothing personal, it is just the way the primitive male intimacy
Out of this rather silly intimacy model will come such senseless
requests as Joeyís. If you havenít heard that one you probably have
heard your own versions of silly unilateral decisions from the mouths
of men. Are we cute or what?
Now you know to just smile and nod pleasantly, then make a counteroffer
or request of your own. You know that you can guide your man out
of the trap of his own adolescent testosterone intimacy structure!
This is not an insult of men in any way. Obviously, each man is
at a different place in his emotional development. Iím speaking
in generalities here. Men are marvelous, powerful, warm, loving
beings. And, most all of us men have at core some fairly Neanderthal
So make intimate requests as often as it seems appropriate for
you. From taking out the trash to how you have sex, intimate requests
should become a constant part of your love life. If he or she declines
one of your requests, that's okay, it happens, relationships are
voluntary. Just so, if you decline one of your partnerís there is
no need to feel guilty or bad.
Any request is simply a statement of how a person wants you to
play. If you want to play that way, great! If you don't want to
play that way, make a counter offer or simply decline. That is the
way the game is played. Guilt and feeling bad and trying to covertly
manipulate are extras that you add on, extras that
often "gum up" the quality of closeness rather than add
Have fun with requests, practice it week to week, both making
your requests and responding to his, and see how you can use this
tool to consciously add to the richness of your relationship.
With any intimate request you make, there are only three basic
things that can happen:
One is they'll say yes. Are you awesome or
Two is that they'll counteroffer, come back with a different
idea or suggestion. If this is acceptable, you agree. If it isn't,
you negotiate or repeat your request. The key here is to look for
The third possible reaction to any of your requests is that
he or she will decline; say no or ignore it (same thing). This
will happen often and youíre about to learn a very powerful way
to deal with people saying NO to you.
DEALING WITH NO!
The first secret to learn about rejection is that it really is
okay if people say NO to your requests. Sometimes people want to
play with us, sometimes they don't want to. If he says NO,
usually it isn't the end of the relationship and life as you know
it. Sulking and pouting and getting even are EXTRA, things you add
to his "no" that can really muck up the works for the
both of you. Feeling bad about someone else's choices really
is extra, you don't have to add that to the "no."
"Do you want to play? ...NO? ...then piss off, I don't want
to play with you either!" In the process of life, we all seem
to pick up the idea that rejection is bad, that NO is something
to take terribly personally, and that it must be resisted.
You can create it that way subjectively for yourself, but those
reality tunnels are pretty dark and unpleasant to go down, as we
all know far too well. When you get practice at making requests,
at co-creating an exceptional relationship through asking, inviting,
and guiding, you will probably find yourself making lots of requests.
Some he will agree to, some he may not, some he may take a while
to mull over before changing his behavior.
Just because he says No now doesn't mean his behavior
won't change anyway.
A refusal is just a snapshot of where a person is at when you ask.
Particularly with men, who often have that automatic "no response"
to requests - yours or anybody elseís. Later that day or that week
he may really get into the idea. Or he may come up with a creative
substitute that will be just as good or even better! Men really
do want to play with you, men really do want to please and be seen
as loving and giving and cooperative.
People only nag and hassle each
other when they aren't getting what they want and aren't getting
"heard." It's one thing if he says "no" to some
of your intimate requests, its another entirely if he ignores or
doesn't even listen to you. Making specific intimate requests will
make sure that you first get "heard." Second, it will
give you a method for gaining his willing cooperation to play in
ways that build intimacy.
As we all know from childhood (hopefully) if you ask for what you
want cheerfully and with pleasure, you are probably a lot more likely
to get it. If you ask someone to play enthusiastically, they are
a lot more likely to want to play with you. And if someone says
NO, they don't want to play with you right now, they may "come
over" later that day or tomorrow and ask you to play with them!
ITíS OKAY IF PEOPLE SAY NO. LET THEM!
No need to go into a breakdown and "oh my god
this is terrible" mode! You want to know if people want to
play the way you do. Saves on lots of sabotage and other relationship
If someone says no you at least know how you aren't
going to play together! You have clarity!
We get very weird and funny about making requests
because we don't like rejection. We are afraid if people say no
that we'll get into a fight or a battle. So we often don't make
requests because we have a subconscious fear of people saying no.
When you were a kid, you'd go knock on somebody's door and ask
if they wanted to come out and play. If they didn't, you maybe didn't
like it, but you went on and asked somebody else or did something
else. Kids have very little trouble asking for what they want.
But now, as adults, we have all this baggage around
people saying no and being rejected, so often times we are afraid
to ask people for what we want. And its very hard to get what you
want if you don't ask!
So when we don't get what we want, if people
or we attack,
or we cry,
and the relationship suffers. Or if we don't get what we want
we quit our jobs
Or when we don't get what we want we scream at our
kids instead of talk to them and we beat them out of frustration.
All of these are damaging ways of dealing with no, and now you have
a choice to deal much more positively.
THE AUTOMATIC NO.
Sometimes people, men in particular, automatically say no to any
request. It's almost a territorial or domination thing, they want
to protect their turf and they do so by saying no. Yes, they want
to please you, they want to be liked, to be seen as good people,
but there is this kind of automatic no that pops out to most any
request. Your request becomes a domination issue for a man, and
he says no to subjectively stake his territory, show you that he
canít be pushed around.
If you have kids, you've seen this automatic no
before, right? There's an age where they just like saying no.
Well, as adults, learn this simple technique taught
in most good sales classes:
When people say no to you, simply let them, then
Don't be stopped by the first no! Don't argue
scream or shout! You can often make a no "disappear" by
allowing it rather than fighting it!
Mirror their no, let them know you heard it, then
Often, once the first automatic no is out of the way, they can
get right to yes! Rule of thumb, if you ask them three times and
they still say no, take it as a no and let it go for now.
You can always ask again tomorrow!
When you don't get put off by no's, when you
can still be pleasant and ask again, companies will pay you lots
for that skill. They call those jobs management or sales!
Are you beginning to realize the scope and power of developing
skill in making requests?
PLAY is the key concept here.
As weíve said, you, he, we all want to play in our
relationships, we want to have fun, make lots of Love, explore and
adventure together. If you are not experiencing your relationship
as play, this is often a signal that you need to make intimate requests
to change your mateís behavior or to change the way you two interact
in some areas. Making a request is simply asking your partner to
play a certain way in the game of relationship. It is important
to remember that when you make an intimate request of your partner,
you are asking him to play with you in a certain way. But
what a lot of us tend to do is make a huge deal of it before hand,
we imagine awful resistance in our heads, and so we ask with too
much weight and seriousness and give the wrong idea. Making requests
is asking someone to play with you!
When making requests, remember to ask your mate to play with humor,
with enthusiasm, with joy, pleasantly. USE HUMOR!
"Hey, hon, how about if we tried this???"
"Look, you big stud you, do you think you could do this for
"Oh Prince my Prince, would you please..."
"Hey, silly, I would really like it if you..."
When making requests starts looking to you like
it is a fight, a battle of wills, back off! Then lighten
up! It isn't the end of the world.
It isn't even the end of the world when the request
you really want your mate to agree with gets refused.
If they say no, no way, nada, get out of town, asta lavista baby
then you get to practice dealing with no effectively.
So lighten up about this whole request thing! It is powerful,
it is remarkable, it can change the entire future of your relationship
for the better, it can make you a person co-creating the intimacy
dance rather than settling for what morsels you occasionally get.
AND it is about playing.
1. Notice when something about your lover, or your child, or
a workmate bothers you. Then see if there is some request that
you could make of that person to change a particular behavior.
2. Formulate as specific a request as possible.
"Stop doing that!" is generally not going to be very effective.
"Would you..." or "Could you..." or "It
would be great if you ..." What is it that you want to see
them do differently? The more exact your request, the greater your
chances of success.
3. Before you communicate your request, insert humor! Usually,
when we are bothered by someone's behavior, we think of grouching
and grumbling rather than laughter. It is often a good rule never
to communicate a request if you are upset or unhappy. Insert HUMOR.
You are inviting someone else to play with you in a way that you
want them to play! Lighten up, and have some fun!
- Communicate your request! As pleasantly, enjoyably and
lightly as possible. That's right, open your mouth and SPEAK.
Let it flow, baby!
- Acknowledge his/her response, whatever it is. She or
he will often say yes outright, you've succeeded! Thank him with
a million kisses, or whatever. If he says no, proceed onward to
6. If your mate does say no or ignores it, don't
take it personally. That life has a different viewpoint and
set of priorities than you do. Let him have his response and views
and opinions. Or he may just need to get that "no" out
of his system. Making intimate requests is not an argument or
an invitation to conflict. Allow him to have his responses to
your invitation to play, whatever they are. Acknowledge him for
7. If it is still important to you that this particular request
get agreed to, rephrase and repeat your request up to three times.
Don't quit after one. Don't stop after even two "no's."
Three cheerful times in a row, with a slightly rephrased
request, ask again! Don't get caught up in his no and his reasons
for it. Donít start arguing (easier said than done at first!) Just
acknowledge his response and repeat your request and your reasoning
Congratulations! You've probably
gotten him/her to agree to your request. If not, at the very least
you will have gotten him started thinking about it. He may say no
now and change his behavior tomorrow or next week. Or you may have
come up with an interesting compromise, or you may decide to ask
Remember that relationships are a dance, a play,
between two people. All you can do at times is ask your partner
to dance in a certain way, then wait and see what they choose to
do. If you don't ask, if you stuff your request or your irritation,
it will only cause distance or distress to build up between you.
Get skilled at making requests, and help along the dance between
EXERCISE One: Take two minutes and write down
three things that are bothering you or irritating you at work or
at home or with your kids.
One thing thatís bothering me at work is __________________________________
One thing thatís bothering me with my partner
One thing thatís bothering me about my kid(s) is ________ __________________
Things that are bothering you are places where
you arenít playing very well, or people
arenít playing with you. Now, see what requests you could make in
each of those areas to make it work better for you.
Make your requests:
- clear, specific,
If the problem youíre having with your mate is that
he isnít very affectionate, only touching you when you have sex,
you canít say "Hey, hon, I want you to be a better lover."
That isnít clear or specific, it could mean a million different
things to a million different people.
You could say "Hey, stud master, while I like our sex, it
seems you never touch me outside the bedroom. I like being patted
and caressed and hugged every day, could you do that more, please?"
Thatís clear, specific, everyone could understand it and then agree
or disagree. And again, with such a clear, simple request, you can
alter your entire relationship in less than five minutes.
If whatís bothering you is he doesnít communicate
with you, it doesnít work to say
"Baby, we donít talk to each other. Would you
talk to me every day, please?"
He might think saying good morning meets that requirement.
It would be better to request
"Honey, sweetums, master of my castle, we donít
seem to talk much anymore. Could you make an effort when you get
home after work to tell me about your day, and to ask me about mine,
and to have a conversation to connect with me before plopping on
the couch and turning on the news?"
The more specific, the more likely that youíll start getting more
of what you want. Even if your mate initially says no, specific
pleasant requests often have a way of getting met over time. It
starts your mate thinking in the right direction, with some specifics
so they can then know the kind of things you want.
DEALING WITH KIDS:
Everything here applies to kids as well. Your relationships
go much better with your kids if you view your interactions as play,
as win/win, where not only do you meet your kids needs but you meet
yours as well.
With kids, its very important to first notice when you aren't getting
your needs met. If they are running screaming through the house,
or if they won't stay in bed, or if they are disrespecting you or
a sibling, then you probably aren't getting your needs met.
Rather than scream or beat them, if you can notice
when your boundaries are violated you can then immediately form
up a request.
If they don't go along you may need to turn into
a command. Stop that or you get time out in the corner!
If your kids are ignoring your requests, simply have them face
the consequences (stand in a corner) and soon theyíll start choosing
behaviors that donít have negative consequences for them. Be pleasant
but firm about the consequences and youíll often find your kids
become much more pleasant to be around.
We all have needs and wants in life. The best way
to move toward your dreams, have play and fun in your relationships,
and succeed in your work life is to make requests and let others
know what you want or need!
People generally want to say yes to your requests.
We all want to be seen as good and helpful people.
Whenever you are bothered or upset, itís a good
sign that you should make some requests of other people in your
Use humor wherever possible! The more pleasant you
are, the more pleasant the interaction!
Get okay with people saying no! And don't let it
stop you when the request is important. Ask again.
When you can get people to pleasantly follow your requests some
companies can pay you lots of money for that skill! Salespersons
and managers get paid lots of money for being able to make requests
and deal effectively with no.
Finally, practice this every day for a few weeks,
and it will begin to become second nature. Start out with a few
simple requests, then build up to major requests (stop drinking/drugging/infidelity,
etc.). Practice, or this will disappear.